An Evansville neighborhood giant is remembered Wednesday. Darla Smith died in a terrible car crash Tuesday, but her effort to rebuild North Main Street will live on.
Her bakery, Daily’s, is closed for now, but it hasn’t stopped people from visiting and leaving flowers outside the front door. It’s a symbol of how much Darla meant to people.
A lot of love has come out of her corner brick building at Delaware Street. The love has grown stronger, but there’s a hole in many hearts.
“She really just embodied everything that I admire about small business people,” said Kelley Coures, Director of Metro Development in Evansville.
Great leaders give people something bigger than themselves, and Darla Smith was a leader.
“Her advocacy for our neighborhood was second to none,” said Jeremy Evans, Director of the Dream Center. “She absolutely loved it.”
Darla volunteered with high school seniors at the Dream Center. She taught them how to bake, but even more, she taught them how to live.
“She was always there with a smile, a hug, and encouragement, and was always positive in an environment when you don’t always see that,” Evans said. “She was pouring out love on them.”
Darla was a pioneer in revitalizing North Main Street. She never missed a meeting and had grand ideas of what her neighborhood could be.
“She was never anything but 100 percent positive,” Coures added.
Daily’s was planning to open a coffee shop in the spring. Her vision to grow had no limits.
“When people like that pass it leaves a hole that is very hard to fill,” Evans added.
When you talk about great leaders and even greater people, it’s safe to say most in the community believed Darla was high on the list.
The man police say is responsible for the accident that killed Darla is William Buckman
He is recovering in the hospital. Police say he will face felony charges when he’s out.
”Even at the most difficult times she was always upbeat and positive,” Coures said. “I’ll miss that terribly.”